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Tommy Roe - Greatest Hits [MCA]

4.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tommy spread irresistibly catchy pop-rock hits through the '60s and early '70s! His Top 10s Sheila; Everybody; Sweet Pea; Hooray for Hazel; Dizzy , and Jam Up Jelly Tight join Come On; Party Girl; Pearl , and more.

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In the late '60s, Tommy Roe's budding bubblegum bop was the kind of stuff aspiring smarties turned their nose up at. He was a "teenybopper" (albeit one who bravely forged a trail soon to be trod by the daintily dreamy likes of Bobby Sherman and the Cassidy Bros.) when many were into revolutionary rock & roll. Much of his material has aged quite nicely however. "Dizzy" is a near perfect pop song. Indeed, it stands as the "MMM Bop" of its day. The Buddy Holly nod "Sheila" and the truly filthy (one hopes) "Jam Up and Jelly Tight" prove Roe wasn't a one-hit wonder. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002OPG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John A. Kuczma on May 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Between 1962 and 1971, Tommy Roe placed eleven songs in the Top 40, including six in the Top 10 (two number 1s!), proving that no matter how many people turned up their noses, the teenybopper bubblegum sound was both popular and persistent.
This superior MCA disc includes all but one of the Top 40 hits. Alongwith the six Top 10 cuts (Sheila, Everybody, Sweet Pea, Hooray for Hazel, Dizzy and the rather raunchy Jam Up and Jelly Tight), it offers a number of excellent lesser known songs (The Folk Singer, It's Now Winter's Day, We Can Make Music.)
Inexplicably, two non-chart cuts are included (Everytime a Bluebird Cries and Dottie, I Like It) at the expense of a very good cover of Susie Darlin', a number 35 in the autumn of 1962.
However, that is a very minor short-coming, considering that all of these songs are originals are brilliantly mastered for clear, dynamic sound.
For pure musical chewing enjoyment, Tommy Roe's Greatest Hits can't be beat!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the soundtrack to my pre-teen days and I'm surprised at how well it's stood the test of time. It may have been called bubblegum, but I consider it great pop music because of the catchy melodies and the slick production. In fact it was and remains very hypnotic music, especially songs like Sweet Pea, Dizzy and Hooray For Hazel. A track like Heather Honey even has a tinge of sadness. Other great melodic numbers include Jam Up Jelly Tight, Sheila and there's even a decent cover of Stagger Lee. This type of pop music sounds quite original and unique when compared to lots of the colorless fluff that rule the charts these days. It had something, a certain flavour or personality, that sets it apart and makes it an enjoyable listening experience even after more than three decades.
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Format: Audio CD
Consumers: If you are looking for the original hit ABC recordings of Tommy Roe from the 60s, then don't hesitate to buy this CD. Despite what you have read, these are the originals! Any record collector worth his/her salt knows that MCA acquired the back catalog of ABC Paramount and ABC records when they closed their doors back in the late seventies. ABC was Tommy's record label for the entire 60s. I still have my orignal 45s and I still play them, and aside from these being in Stereo, these are the same versions, NOT re-recorded. Buy with confidence, nuff said.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, so Tommy Roe will never be honored at the Kennedy Center for advancing the field of music during his time. But, if you like his songs, you'll like this CD because they are all here.
I grew up listening to my dad play his greatest hits, Sheila, The Folk Singer, Everybody, Jam Up & Jelly Tight, Hooray for Hazel, Sweet Pea, and on and on. I put in the CD and just sang along even though it had been 20 years since I listened. My 7 month old thought I was crazy as I faked the great drum beats on some of the songs.
If you've never heard of Tommy Roe, he might be a bubble gum rocker, a little heavier than say the Archies, but not much more. I've got this CD playing in the truck right now. Good value for the money!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The story of most young pop singers is usually a story of a very determined individual drifting from group to group, playing small gigs and taking odd jobs as a backup singer to get their foot in the door of the record business. Atlanta's Tommy Roe had recorded Sheila for a tiny local label when ABC Paramount picked it up for national distribution. When it began to hit, they wanted him to go on a promotional tour, but he didn't want to leave his job at the General Electric factory. Of course he changed his mind as Sheila hit 31 for two weeks in the late summer of '62.

Tommy is sometimes called the inventor of bubblegum music before there even was such a term, but there's more to him than that. Like many early sixties artists he had to change his style to survive in the mid sixties. The early Tommy Roe was a mellow rocker. Sheila, with its driving rhythm and Buddy Holly style vocal is a good example. everybody, his Top 5 hit in '63 is another light rocker. A song that wasn't a hit here was The Folk Singer, which sounds a bit folk-like and also is reminiscent of The Cascades Rhythm of the Rain. That was a top five hit in Britain, but that was not unusual as many American singers including Gene Pitney and Del Shannon were much bigger in Britain than they were here.

The bubblegum label doesn't come about until his 1966 comeback with two Top Tens, Sweet Pea and Hooray For Hazel. They do have many of the future bubblegum elements like the organ and guitar combo, the choppy rhythm and peppy tune. But to me it's just fun pop from the happy year of 1966 and the lyrics were more interesting than any by the Buddah bubblegum groups. The fact was that Tommy wrote all of his hits, a rare thing for early sixties singers.
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Format: Audio CD
You might say that Tommy Roe was ahead of the curve. He recorded "bubblegum" music before the term was even coined. After his wildly successful debut single, 1962's "Sheila", Tommy Roe went on to make 21 more appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart over the next decade. A strong argument can be made that his 1966 Top Ten smash "Sweet Pea" was really the very first "bubblegum" hit. Recall that the term "bubblegum" did not appear until the heyday of Buddah records in 1968-1969 with groups like Ohio Express and the 1910 Fruitgum Co.

Tommy Roe went on to make several more "bubblegum" records including hits like "Hooray For Hazel", "Dizzy" and "Jam Up and Jelly Tight" from 1969. Tommy Roe wrote a vast majority of the tunes he recorded. In my opinion, some of his better sides never quite made it including "Heather Honey" and 1966's "It's Now Winter's Day. And he does a very nice job on his final ABC release, a remake of the Lloyd Price classic "Stagger Lee."

MCA is to be commended for the nice job they did with the enclosed 12 page booklet. I see where some people have questioned whether these are the original recordings. As far as I can tell they are. Perhaps an audiophile could discern if the recordings have been altered slightly. But then again why would an audiophile be listening to a Tommy Roe CD? Tommy Roe continues to record and perform. His official website lists a modest schedule of appearances during the coming months. I think it would be great fun to see him perform at a venue like a State Fair. When all is said and done he made some pretty good music.
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